Anneliese Sloss wants people to think about the permanency of plastic.
In fact, the South Pasadena High School student is so passionate about plastics pollution that she's taken her concern to the City Council: Sloss asked council members Wednesday night to consider rewarding South Pas stores that don't use plastic bags.
"It's an ethical problem and a human health problem,'' said Sloss, a Girl Scout who is working toward her Gold Award. "Twenty-five percent of plastics thrown away are unaccounted for and end up in one of five ocean gyres,'' she said, noting a gyre are areas of slow spiraling water with low winds.
Sloss' project intends to make youth aware of the pollution situation, as well as look for ways to make her city more sustainable. She has created children's coloring books highlighting the problem, and has also made presentations to elementary schools, such as a recent visit to the fourth graders at Marengo.
"Single-use plastics are such a bad problem,'' she said, asking council members if they could encourage stores to make the switch from plastic to paper bags by annually or biannually giving commendations to them. That way, Sloss said, employers could hang the certificates in the window as a matter of pride.
"So it becomes something they want to do rather than something they're forced to do,'' she said.
Councilman Michael Caccioti said he thought it was a great idea, but encouraged Sloss to pitch her idea to the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission. The commission members would then talk about the topic, take public input on the matter and potentially bring a measure before the council.
Wearing her Girl Scout uniform, awash in badges, the teen said she would do just that.